The College Football season has once again made its dwelling among us. College bands play their school anthems with pride, players battle like warriors on the field, coaches lose sleep, and America watches with excitement as we make our early "picks" for Bowl Season.
As coaches ignite the testosterone flame in their helmet wearing heroes each week, I can't help but remember the story of Erk Russell, football coach for Georgia Southern College. Russell's team had a serious drug problem. Many of the players were addicts, and each week Russell lost players due to eligibility violations. But, Russell was more than just a coach, he was also a mentor. Not only did he want the best for his players on the field, but also in life. Russell contacted some good ol' country boys, and asked them to make an "appearance" at the next team meeting. That next Friday during the team's big meeting before game day, the country boys burst into the room and threw a writhing, hissing, six-foot long rattle snake on the table in front of the team. The players screamed and scattered; even a 6'9 Defensive Tackle ran to the other side of campus. Russell ordered the snake to be removed from the room. He called his team back together and told them, "When cocaine comes into a room, you're not nearly as apt to leave as you are when that rattle snake comes in. But they'll both kill you!"
Anyone who knows me very well knows that I can't stand snakes. I avoid them like the plague. In fact, I would rather get a good, strong kick to the stomach than be within fifty yards of those hissing creatures. But, Erk Russell brought everything into perspective--cocaine or snake--either way, you're playing with death.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death..." Do we believe him? I don't know about you, but I don't need a rattle snake to get the point!